November is National Health Blog Post Month (#NHBPM). Wego Health is encouraging health bloggers to raise awareness and help others. 30 days, 30 posts. Here I go…
This morning I told my friend Melissa that sometimes I get tired of living. Yes, I know that sounds horrible and that life is a wonderful thing, most of the time. Then I get hit with several chronic conditions, recurrent depression and a whacky endocrine system, and the first I have to do in the morning is feed my thyroid the hormone it refuses to produce, so I can actually function. Then I have to test my blood sugar, figure out what I can eat, try to do good and still see that number raising. Then I have to remember to take my happy pills because everything else goes to the crapper if I don’t. Every muscle in my body hurts, not because I’m a weakling, but because there’s also an auto-immune inflammatory process of unknown cause. It isn’t bad enough to keep me from living, but it exacerbates during the cold months making me wish I could just stay in bed. And that’s just part of it. So yeah, some days I want to either throw the towel or throw a pity party and eat all the ice cream.
And days like this are the reason why I write about my health. When I sit down and put my thoughts into words, it helps me understand what’s going on with me. I stop and think about the choices I made just five minutes ago and how they affect my health. I stop and think that I’m 37 years old, I’ve had type 2 diabetes for 12 years and I’ve actually done my homework because *knock on wood* I’m still alive and kicking, and I have no complications. It makes me realize that I’ve become so acquainted with my depression, that as soon as the early symptoms hit I know what I have to do and I’ve been depression-free for more than over a year. Writing about my health makes me be aware of my needs and responsibilities, but also of my big and small victories.
Mind you, I’m not a model patient, I’ve had really bad bouts, I tend to forget things on purpose. Yes, you can enter periods of denial and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived with a condition/illness. So I write, because writing about my health makes my conditions more real, and because it gives me the opportunity to share with others, mostly to tell them that it’s OK not to be perfect, and that we all have bad days. Living with an illness is not easy, so writing is cathartic.
I asked my husband to write something about diabetes from his perspective. This is what he had to say about living with a person who has type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes sucks, no way around that fact. It is a disease that affects people in a big way no matter what type they have. The hardest thing for me to understand was that a metabolic disease affects a the person in a lot of levels. So my tale begins.
I still don’t understand as much about diabetes as I should, but I try to keep myself somewhat informed. The truth of diabetes is that while it affects all facets of your life when you have it, it is not the only culprit. Sure, sometimes a “low” can cause impatience, hunger, thirst, but the person can also be simply hungry, thirsty or in an impatient mood. Living with someone with diabetes makes you learn to keep track of that and also learn how to prevent it.
That is probably the most frustrating part of diabetes with your significant other. The problem is metabolism, but a lot of it comes from how your body reacts to nutrition, especially for people with type 2. It is not only about, “hey, don’t eat sugar.” You would think that the hardest part would be to tell someone, “hey, you should not eat that…” Actually the hard part is to get them to eat when they don’t want to.
A lot of people link obesity with diabetes, especially type 2. The reality is that the frustrating thing of the disease is that even when you do eat healthy, your body might not process the good food as well either. That and that it is all about constant good nutrition, not just good nutrition when the “bad” cop is around.
That is the part I hate about diabetes, being the “bad” cop. Having to tell your loved one that ice cream might not be the right thing to eat when you know they want to eat it. I am in an even worse situation because I don’t care for sugar at all. I can go months or years without ice cream, cookies or cakes. If your significant other is someone that loves those things, it feels horrible because they don’t tell you not to eat bacon even though you have a history of heart disease in your family. It is a constant struggle between being loving, understanding and also supportive.
Then again, I struggle with making sure that my wife eats properly when I am not around. She is not very good about snacking and ends up not eating anything all morning and being really low by lunch time. While the highs are sometimes considered the dangerous ones when dealing with diabetes, the lows also happen quite often.
Besides nutrition the other factor that diabetes affects is energy. You cannot process the fuel, so your energy level is probably lower as well right?
Even though I have been very sedentary for years working in the computer field, I do have energy to do stuff. It can get frustrating when that energy does not match your significant others energy. Everyone loves to talk about exercise, but how about when there is no energy to do that because your body is not processing things to give you that energy in an efficient and constant manner?
Enough about the lows though. Life with a diabetic is no different than life with anyone else. Everyone, as they get older, has aches and pains. Diabetics get to learn to deal with those and adjust a lot earlier in life. It is also awesome when you see that their careful care of their disease yields good A1C numbers… whatever A1C is 🙂
You can visit my hubby’s blog and read more of what he has to say about everything. I married a smart one!